There’s an old ditty or song about an attitude of gratitude. The lyrics say attitude reflects every part of life. Why should we strive to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, especially in strained relationships?  I often talk about a bad attitude in connection with the reason for strained relationships.  A bad attitude and a strained relationship are in a confusing cycle of cause-and-effect, one aggravating the other.

A+ For Attitude

When my son was in school, and I attended parent-teacher conferences, all I wanted to hear was that he had a great attitude towards his work, teachers, and peers.  I wanted to know he put his heart and soul into it. I wanted his teachers to gush about his cooperative attitude in the classroom and his collaborative spirit.  From a young age, maybe first or second grade, I emphasized grades were not important if he had a great attitude and was giving his best.   If he wasn’t causing conflict and he was trying his best in everything, all that mattered to us was his attitude, his heart-song.

Having this attitude of gratitude that I am talking about is essential to our relationships.  What is your attitude towards the other person in the relationship? As for me, I have made a plethora of mistakes in my life, especially when it comes to my attitude towards others. This is an area of my life that I’ve had to work hard to overcome. I share my experiences to show others how not to do some things and how to do better.

An Attitude of Gratitude

I have learned that an attitude of gratitude is simply grateful for the things that we love about the people in our life.  By letting them know that we are thankful, we express love and kindness in a tangible way.  We say thank you and send thank you notes that are meaningful because it shows a more vulnerable side of us.  Be specific about why you are thanking them instead of the empty words, ‘Thank you.’

I love you are not words my husband typically says. Many women who are in this particular situation would be upset and hurt, but not me.  I do not become angry over the absence of those words and let me tell you why.  We have been married for over twenty years and from the beginning, even as recently as two nights ago, when we are snuggled up in bed with his arms wrapped around me, he quietly says, “Thank you for marrying me.”  Thank you for marrying me?  What?  How about me?  What about all the amazing things I got out of the deal?

attitude of gratitudeIt is breathtaking when I stop to think about all my husband expresses through these heartfelt words.  When he says, ‘Thank you for marrying me,’  he says he loves me and a whole lot more.  He says he loves me dearly and is grateful I am his wife. He tells me that he feels lucky to have me in his life and is thankful that I chose him.

It is a beautiful thing, gratitude.  Attitude is everything in life and love. It is a hard truth that a bad attitude can corrupt even the strongest heart.